The secrets of Enschede (2)

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Gabriella Özcelik

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Discover Enschede

Are you a tourist in your own city or just curious to discover new things? Go and be a tourist and visit the secrets of Enschede.

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No matter how many times you have walked the streets of Enschede, you will always come across new and previously unnoticed statues and murals! Are you curious what they mean? We collect all secrets of Enschede in our Secrets of Enschede blogs. Below you will find part 2 of the series. Curious about more secrets? Then check out part 1 here.

1. Ko's family

You have probably seen them: on the square in front of Enschede's town hall you will find a work of art that is made of various ellipses. Artist Joop Hekman was inspired by the egg-shaped streets in the city center between 1981 and 1983. In the artwork there are human figures of bronze in a playful arrangement. A child playing in the water of the accompanying fountain, next to it the mother, the father who is watching and a chowchow dog. The artist's dog was the model for this dog himself

Joop Hekman wanted people to be able to make contact with the images and that children could play on them: "An image of me. You have to be able to climb on it, sit in it. It should attract and engage people, involve the whole environment with architecture and all ".

Although the work of art is actually called 'the Family', it is better known in Enschede as 'Het Ei van Ko', named after the then mayor of Enschede: Ko Wieringa.

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2. Mystery Monk

Chances are you've never seen this statue. The statue is 'hidden' in the Brandweerstraat behind the station. The mysterious statue, called "Pleurant", was placed around 1996 and made by the Amsterdam artist Hans van den Ban. Pleurant stands for 'a crying person'.

Pleurant stands in the water and looks a lot like a hooded monk hanging over his face. The story behind the image? Actually, it is a crying person who shifts his face to the outside world

3. Stolpersteine

You've probably walked over them many times and you may not even have noticed them. Scattered throughout the city you will find black and gold stones called Stolpersteine. The stones are small monuments to Jewish people who have lived in that place. If you read on, you will see that those people were arrested and deported during the Second World War.

The Stolpersteine ​​are part of a very large work of art that now consists of some 50,000 stones throughout Europe, made by the artist Gunter Demnig. Since 2012, a number of Stolpersteines have been laid every year in Enschede.

The photo shows David Woudstra, this stone can be found on Padangstraat.

4. Optical deception

Have you ever taken a good look at the anamorphic artwork at the Richtersgang? This is a work of art that only looks realistic from a certain angle. From other places it is mainly blue and red lines.

The artwork can be seen in the alley between Concordia and Bij Flip or from the other side if you walk into the Richtersgang at Ji-Nos. The designers of Studio Rameckers de Rond found inspiration in the windows of the Jacobuskerk and Concordia’s characteristic red spiral staircase. Drop by and try to take a perfect photo and tag us (@enschede)!

5. Chattering geese

In the middle of the often busy De Graaff intersection, four copper geese stand in a fountain. The geese artwork was created by artist Louise Helianthe. Geese symbolize the peasant women who used to walk from the straw market chattering and heretic to the center of the city to sell their products on the market.

Recently an umbrella has been placed above the geese. The umbrella contains four projectors with sound. These projectors create colored areas on the edge of the fountain and play music elements as soon as you sit on a certain part of the edge. The four elements together create a musical symphony.

6. The brick woman

You have probably already seen her in various places in the city: this statue called "The Madonna". But what exactly should the image represent? Artist Maria Roosen has translated Enschede's rich, eventful textile past into a classic female figure in a dress with a long train. The "blocks" that make up the image should represent enlarged pixels that you get when photos are magnified on a computer.

The statue was initially placed on the Van Loenshof, opposite Scapino. Shortly after installation, however, she was damaged by a truck. It took a few years for the brick statue to be restored. Now she is safe from trucks next to the Decathlon track.

7. A special monument

Why is there a fountain in the middle of the Oude Markt and what does it mean? On May 7, 1862, a fire broke out in a house on Kalanderstraat. Due to strong winds, insufficient extinguishers and a city full of decorations and arches in connection with a visit by King William III earlier that week, the fire spread very quickly. Mainly because the city consisted of almost only wooden houses and it had not rained for weeks. The fire destroyed a large part of Enschede's city center. Several buildings such as the town hall, churches and the hospital did not survive the fire. Only the walls of the church on the Oude Markt were still standing. In total 650 families were made homeless and two were killed by the fire. At that time approximately 4000 people lived in Enschede.

Fifty years after the city fire in 1862, the fire monument was placed on the Oude Markt. The monument was designed by the Münster artist Ludwig Nick. On the monument you will find three bronze reliefs with images of the large flames, men extinguishing and women fleeing during the fire.

8. The mural at the Tor

The first thing you notice when you visit Jazzpodium de Tor is the mural by Dirk Oeghoede called "Color the city". The artwork, which was created in 2005, is a connection between the slogan 'Color the city', the individuality of the building De Tor and the freedom and creativity of jazz music.

But what does it mean? The logo of the jazz stage can be seen at the top right. In the center of this colorful painting you see a beetle in a yellow plain, meaning an abstract gate.

9. In the sun

In 1946 and 1947, Oscar Jespers formed three statues that he called "In the Sun". The three images portray the woman as a myth, a myth of perfection and fertility.

Oscar Jespers went from making slender sculptures to more rounded shapes. The three statues differ slightly from each other. He not only changed the shapes but also his technique.

One of those three statues can be found behind the City Hall on the Klokkenplas. Since February / March, the Klokkenplas has been renovated into a beautiful and surprising place in the heart of the center.

10. A hidden village

'Once upon a time here, on the site of this pond, was the Twente village of Drienerlo, which has sunk into the peat.'

While walking on the grounds of the University of Twente you may have noticed that a church tower protrudes just above the water of a pond. The Torentje van Drienerlo is a work of art designed in 1979 by Wim T. Schippers. But what is this tower doing in the water?

Wim T. Schippers hoped that the artwork would generate all kinds of contemporary myths. He succeeded, because after forty years the tower still leads to all kinds of stories. But we can all agree that it is a real eye-catcher!

Experience the secrets of Enschede for yourself and hit the road!

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